AMMAN: Spending on mobile advertising in Jordan is set to overtake advertising in traditional media, a local expert has predicted.

Jawad Abbasi, founder and general manager of Arab Advisers Group, told albawaba that "Mobile advertising, especially mobile display ads, is the future".

He backed up this assertion by providing latest figures on smartphone penetration in the nation, which currently stands at between 45% and 50% and is expected to grow annually at a rate of 5-6%.

"In Jordan, the number of smartphone holders who use their devices to download apps and access the Internet is on the rise and mobile advertising is key in targeting those users," said Abbasi.

Mobile penetration in Jordan, including feature phones, reached 138% in September, according to official figures. This is equivalent to a total of some 8.8m mobile subscriptions, of which more than 90% are prepaid subscribers.

Abbasi's comments were echoed by Wael Quader, CEO of Noqoush Mobile Media Group, who told Jordan Times that "the potential for mobile display ads in Jordan is large".

Quader observed a trend "where businesses in different sectors are seriously considering resorting to mobile advertising to reach out to a wider audience".

Nor is the potential restricted to Jordan. Quader cited figures of $44m for spending on mobile display ads across the wider Middle East and North Africa region in 2012, where there are 43m mobile internet consumers.

Earlier this year the Mobile Measure study, compiled by research firm Effective Measure, found that digital media consumption in the Middle East and North Africa growing at unprecedented rates thanks to the increased usage of tablets and other mobile devices.

In addition, some 40% of consumers had signed up to unlimited data packages, the study found.

Data sourced from albawaba business; additional content by Warc staff